Eagle Scouts Participate in Swagelok’s Immersive Engineer for a Day Program
Earning the Eagle Scout rank is counted among a scout’s most treasured achievements. It is the highest advancement in scouting, and a significant milestone for youth that only 4% of scouts obtain after a lengthy review process by the national Boy Scouts of America (BSA) board. One of the biggest hallmarks of the program is the encouragement by troop leaders to scouts to engage with mentors within the community. Swagelok created a program, Engineer for a Day, that gives local Eagle Scouts the ability to connect with mentors and learn more about the engineering field as they get closer to completing the Eagle Scout journey.
In order to achieve Eagle rank, scouts must:
- Be active in their troop, team, crew or ship for a period of at least six months after achieving the rank of Life Scout;
- Demonstrate that they live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their daily life by listing the names of individuals the scout knows personally who are willing to provide a recommendation; and
- Earn a total of 21 merit badges, including several specific ones like Emergency Preparedness and First Aid.
- Hold multiple leadership positions in the troop for over 16 months.
- Complete his Eagle Scout Project, a capstone project that benefits the community that the scouts design and lead. The project often takes months of planning and execution.
Scouting in Northeast Ohio goes back over a hundred years,” says Marc J. Ryan, Lake Erie Council Scout Executive. “It is a big deal to become an Eagle Scout. It’s one of the few things that young people start at an early age and sometimes work for 4, 6, even 8 years [to accomplish]. Becoming an Eagle Scout is something you have to not only work at but set goals and achieve them along the path.”
Eagle Scouts Become an Engineer for a Day
Ryan is the CEO of Lake Erie Council, a group that serves over 15,000 youth and adult programs in Northeast Ohio. His organization works with Swagelok to connect Eagle Scout recipients with engineers who act as mentors during the immersive day-long program. The behind-the-scenes look at life as an engineer, watching and learning from a Swagelok professional as they complete their day-to-day duties, provides the ambitious high schoolers with a more realistic and thorough understanding of the engineering field than what they might learn in a classroom setting.
“Matching a scout up with a business leader in the community is a hallmark of the program,” Ryan explains. “It’s part of what makes scouting very special.”
The Eagle Scouts are also given the opportunity to explore their interest in specific career areas. For example, a recipient interested in mechanical engineering might see more value in design engineering, or vice versa, due to their exposure to the unique facets and nuances of each discipline within the engineering field.
Swagelok’s Effort is a Model for Other Companies
Lake Erie Council considers Swagelok’s group-effort mentoring a model for other companies. The goals of both organizations are similar: developing leaders.
During the day-long event, aspiring Eagle Scouts are first given an overview of the company. Swagelok engineers demo Swagelok products and components, like tube fitting and valves, and explain how they are used across different systems and markets.
“We talk about problem solving, talk about what an engineer does, talk about strength of materials, manufacturability of a product,” explains Chuck Hayes, principal applications engineer at Swagelok and leader for the Engineer for a Day program. “We’ll actually do some material testing, and break materials to see when they break. We make some predictions and hypothesis and see if those predictions come true.”
The Engineer for a Day program gives young scouts a realistic view of what the hands-on side of engineering is like, and they can compare that to other engineering roles available on the design side.
“My goal is, by the end of the day, you’ve seen enough different things on engineering that you have a better idea of, ‘Do I really want to do this?’” Hayes continues.
Swagelok’s Engineer for a Day program is just one of many ways Swagelok is involved in the community. Swagelok supports STEM education in local schools, creates opportunities for engineering students at the university level and offers internship programs for students with a passion for science and engineering. Learn more about Swagelok’s commitment to sustainability and community involvement.